I am constantly checking my motives/ideas/convictions and what I’ve been "taught" from others and evaluating what I’ve heard. I went to Fresno Pacific University for one year in the middle of my college career as a Biblical and Religious Studies major before transferring to Fresno State and graduating in Finance. FPU is a Mennonite Brethren College with a strong belief in Pacifism.
One Professor that I had, who was one of the most loved on campus, told a story of how these young hooligans drove by him one day (the school is in a pretty bad area of town by the way) and as they drove by, one of the guys hung out of the car and hit him. They circled back around, so he "turned the other cheek" to them and they hit him again. He told this story in class one day and I just about lost it laughing because that had to be the stupidest thing I’d ever heard. Some people get so "religious" that I think they get blinded by common sense. Not all of my experiences at FPU were bad, just enough to make me not want to go there anymore! Maybe it’s better now, but I’ve seen so many people, in the name of Christianity, just roll over. Now, I’m not saying that we need to be picketing abortion clinics or boycotting Disneyland, because I think that is wrong, but we should be turning our frustrations into logical actions. Like some of you bloggers out there who are doing your part in Africa or leading worship at a Winter Camp, or being an influential pastor. It is like "battered wife syndrome" where this girl gets abused by her husband, but for some reason, they still defend him. I don’t get it. So, I thought this little story from my daily reading from "Reflections for Ragamuffins" by Brennan Manning was pretty good:
No Call to be a Doormat
This Scenario has been playing in my mind: a young female disciple of Jesus wanted to develop a spirit of compassion for all human beings. But when she went to the supermarket to gather her groceries, she found her compassion sorely tested by an ugly assistant manager who would subject her to unwelcome caresses.
One dreary, rainy day she could tolerate it no longer and began to shout angrily at the manager. To her mortification she saw Jesus, who was reaching for a jar of peanut butter on the shelf and quietly observing her behavior. Shamefaced, she came and stood before the Lord, expecting to be rebuked for her anger.
"What you should do,"Jesus kindly counseled her, "is to fill your heart with as much loving-kindness as you can muster. Then whack him over the head with your umbrella."
Nowhere in Scripture does Jesus indicate that being compassionate means being a doormat. There is no trace of restraint when Jesus roars, "The devil is your father and you prefer to do what your father wants" (see John 8:44). We hear utter frustration in the words "How much longer must I put up with You?" (see Matt. 17:17), unmitigated rage in "Get behind me Satan!" (see Matt. 16:23), and blazing wrath in "Stop turning my Father’s house into a marketplace" (see John 2:16).
The wisdom to discern when it is appropriate to turn the other cheek and when it is time to raise the umbrella comes only from listening to the heartbeat of the Great Rabbi.
Be self controlled and alert- 1 Peter 5:8"